OSHA Shares 2017’s Top 10 Safety Violations

Posted on 10/16/2017 by Roger Marks

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recently shared a preliminary list of the top 10 most commonly cited OSHA work safety standards in 2017. Every year, this Top 10 list gives us some clarity on OSHA inspection and enforcement priorities, as well as options for improving safety at our facilities.

#1 Fall Protection—General Requirements
[29 CFR 1926.501]

6,072 violations 

Fall protection, the perennial chart-topper among OSHA’s most common violations, is a leading cause of workplace injuries and fatalities in both the construction and general industry sectors. While violations of general fall protection requirements top this list every year, fall protection training requirements made the list for the first time in 2017 (see #9).

In January 2017, OSHA’s 500-page Walking and Working Surfaces Final Rule took effect. The Final Rule introduced new, bolstered standards for fall arrest systems and preventing trips, new OSHA safety training rules, updated PPE requirements, updated rules for ladders and scaffolding, and more.

#2 Hazard Communication (HazCom)
[29 CFR 1910.1200]

4,176 violations

New OSHA GHS HazCom rules for labeling hazardous chemicals in the workplace are now in effect, and mandatory compliance started in June 2015. Typical violations in this area include failure to provide HazCom training for employees [29 CFR 1910.1200(h)(1)] and failure to implement a hazard communication program [29 CFR 1910.1200(e)(1)].

Have questions about how GHS labeling affects 49 CFR hazmat compliance? Check out these online courses designed to satisfy OSHA’s HazCom training requirement at 29 CFR 1910.1200(h).

For employees: Hazard Communication Online
For managers: Managing Hazard Communication Online

#3 Scaffolding
[29 CFR 1926.451]

3,288 violations

At number 3 on the list are violations of OSHA’s scaffolding requirements for the construction industry found at 29 CFR 1926.451. Scaffolding—along with fall protection and ladders—are all areas addressed in OSHA’s Walking and Working Surfaces Final Rule.

#4 Respiratory Protection
[29 CFR 1910.134]

3,097 violations

OSHA estimates that 5 million US workers are required to wear respirators to protect them from harmful chemicals, dusts, vapors, and low-oxygen environments. Common respirator-related violations include failure to provide annual training and failure to put in place a respirator training or fitting program before distributing respirators for employees to use.

The Respiratory Protection Online Course guides employees through OSHA requirements for selecting, fitting, using, and maintaining respirators in the workplace. The online course is designed to satisfy OSHA’s respiratory protection training requirement at 29 CFR 1910.134.

#5 Lockout/Tagout
[29 CFR 1910.147]
2,877 violations

Also known as the “control of hazardous energy” standard, OSHA’s lockout/tagout (LOTO) rules cover the service and maintenance of machinery to prevent unexpected start-up or movement while an employee is working on the machine.

Need help training employees on the crucial lockout/tagout rules? The Lockout/Tagout Online Course will provide your staff with an understanding of the dangers associated with unexpected start-up and release of stored energy. The course also covers a step-by-step guide to lockout/tagout.

#6 Ladders
[29 CFR 1926.1053]

2,241 violations

Up one spot from last year, OSHA ladder safety violations include mistakes like using the top rung of a ladder as a step. [1926.1053(b)(13)]

#7. Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts)
[29 CFR 1910.178]

2,126 violations

Falling one spot from last year are violations of OSHA’s safety standards for Powered Industrial Trucks, a.k.a “forklifts.” Training of forklift operators, required at 1910.178(l)(6), is a commonly cited violation under this Standard.

#8 Machine Guarding
[29 CFR 1910.212]

1,933 violations

Protecting employees from injuries due to moving parts on machines is a crucial responsibility at general industry and construction workplaces. Machine guards must be in place under OSHA rules to protect workers from rotating parts, in-going “nip points”, and flying chips and sparks. Learn more about the machine guarding requirements here.

New! #9 Fall Protection—Training Requirements
[29 CFR 1926.503]

1,523 violations

Making the list for the first time in 2017 is fall protection training requirements for the construction industry. OSHA’s Walking and Working Surfaces Final Rule added many new requirements, including rules for employee training.

#10 Electrical—Wiring methods
[29 CFR 1910.305]

1.405 violations

For the second year in a row, electrical wiring violations dropped one spot on the list.

Tags: and, fines, osha, penalties, safety

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